Funeral Director School
Working as a funeral director in a funeral home to help people plan funerals and burial services can be a very rewarding career. If you pursue this job, you will work with clients to help them choose a casket, order flowers and catering and plan and schedule a funeral. Sometimes funeral directors are invited to speak at funeral services.
Depending on where you work, or if you decide to open your own funeral home, you may also manage and oversee employees including embalmers, human resources professionals and sales people, to name a few.
Funeral directors are needed in cities across the country, so when you graduate from funeral director school you will likely be able to find a job. Many funeral directors take over a family business, but some apply to and work at a funeral home owned by someone else. And, as mentioned, some funeral directors go into business for themselves and open their own funeral home.
Funeral Director Degrees
If you want to become a funeral director, there are a few different degree programs you can choose from. Generally funeral directors earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in funeral service or an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in mortuary science.
Usually an associate’s degree program will take about two years to complete while a bachelor’s degree program usually takes about four years. Both of these programs will help you prepare for a future job as a funeral director.
There are several different subjects included in funeral service and mortuary science degree programs. This career combines art and science, so you will take a variety of classes.
Biology and Chemistry Classes
Your degree program will likely include some biology and chemistry classes. Embalming, the process of preserving a body so it can be displayed, is based on these sciences. Embalmers use chemicals to slow the decay of a body. Although you likely won’t be directly involved in embalming as a funeral director, you will likely oversee and work with embalmers, so you’ll need to understand biology and chemistry as it relates to the industry.
Human Anatomy Classes
Just as you’ll need to understand how embalming works, you’ll need to understand the human body. An embalmer will primarily be responsible for preparing bodies, but a general understanding of the body will help you in your job as a funeral director.
Funeral Services Classes
A good program will teach you all about the funeral service industry. You will learn how to help clients who are mourning the loss of a loved one make decisions for a funeral. These classes will give you the educational foundation you need to be a successful funeral director.
Funeral Services and the Law Classes
You will likely be required to take some courses about the law as it relates to funeral services. Part of your career as a funeral director will involve filling out and submitting necessary legal paperwork and these classes will help you understand that process. You will also learn about the legal and ethical aspects of a funeral home business.
Business classes will help you understand how funeral homes run from a business perspective. They will also help you gain the knowledge necessary if you decide to open your own funeral home.
The Benefits of Earning Your Degree
Attending an accredited mortician school, and earning a funeral service or mortuary science degree will help you prepare for and develop your career as a funeral director. You’ll be more competitive in the job market since employers often look for applicants that have received high levels of education.
Having a degree may also help you qualify to earn more money. On average, funeral directors earn about $40,000 a year. If you work full time you will also most likely receive health, vision and dental insurance. However, earning more education may help you find opportunities for promotions and raises.
Starting Your Career as a Funeral Director
In most states, funeral directors are required to be licensed by the state. Requirements vary from state to state, so you will need to contact your city or state offices to find out how to obtain a license.
After you have earned your degree and been licensed by your state you can begin working as a funeral director. You may work at a family-owned funeral home or you may apply to work at any funeral home that is hiring funeral directors.
Networking is an excellent way to find employment opportunities. People you meet in the industry can help you develop your career and may even be able to help you find job opportunities.
If you are business minded, and the idea of running your own business appeals to you, you can open your own funeral home. If you work as a funeral director at your own business, you will also be responsible for overseeing things like advertising, accounting and hiring, as well as regular funeral director responsibilities.